Nashville, Tennessee is a great place for families, especially those who love music. The city has its own airport and is an easy drive from Atlanta. Summer is a popular time to visit due to school holidays, but fall and spring are better due to the weather.
Kids will love the Union Station Hotel, which has a stunning lobby and rooms within walking distance of the city’s major attractions. The Gaylord Opryland Resort and Inn at Opryland have in-house restaurants and shops, set around an indoor water feature.
Rentals like Airbnb are also available in the city’s fun neighborhoods for a comfortable stay.
Museums and Attractions
Give yourself at least three days to explore the many attractions in the greater Nashville area.
- Adventure Science Center– Kids love this interactive museum with exhibits on insects, the human body, and nature. There’s also a planetarium and demonstrations.
- Fort Nashborough– Imagine life in early Nashville at this replica fort based on a 1779 stockade. The history center interprets Native American life in the region.
- Madame Tussauds– Get up close with wax replicas of your favorite celebrities and country music stars. Book your Madame Tussauds Nashville Admission Ticket in advance.
- Nashville Zoo– Visit the creatures at the Nashville Zoo, set on the grounds of a former plantation. Get your Nashville Zoo General Admission Ticket before you go.
- Frist Center for The Visual Arts– This incredible 24,000 square foot museum hosts exhibits ranging from pieces from ancient Rome on loan from the British Museum to modern works by Nick Cave.
- Parthenon– Built for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, this replica of the Greek original contains is set in Centennial Park. Inside is a massive statue of Athena and exhibits.
- Tennessee State Museum– Exhibits focus on the prehistoric, frontier, Civil War, antebellum, and Reconstruction periods of the state as well as notable Tennesseans.
Parks and Gardens
Despite being a large city, Nashville has plenty of green spaces for your family to take advantage of year-round.
- Bicentennial Capitol Mall– Located opposite the state capitol, this park has memorials for the Trail of Tears and World War II along with fountains to play in and paths to explore.
- Cumberland Park– Named for the river it runs along, this public park has a climbing wall, splash pad, walking trails, and even an amphitheater that hosts performances.
- Fannie Mae Dees Park– Nicknamed “Dragon Park,” this family-friendly park has a large dragon sculpture where children play. They also have picnic shelters.
- Cheekwood Gardens– Set in the grounds of a historic home, Cheekwood has 55-acres of green space. Get your Nashville Cheekwood Gardens Admission Ticket before you go.
- Percy Warner Park– This sprawling park covers over 3,100 acres and is a short drive from downtown Nashville. It has trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.
- Shelby Bottoms Nature Center and Greenway– Learn about plant and animal life at the nature center before hitting the trails. They have free bike rentals for traversing them.
Nashville has an incredible restaurant scene for a city its size and there are plenty of spots that provide good value and options for picky eaters.
- Goo Goo Shop– See where the city’s original candy is created and sample a few for yourself. They even have classes to make your own.
- Loveless Cafe– One of Nashville’s classic restaurants is Loveless, located near the Natchez Trace Parkway. Kids can watch “the Biscuit Lady” make their breakfast.
- Nashville Farmer’s Market– Let everyone pick their own meal at the market stalls. They have French, Colombian, and Italian food as well as products from local artisans.
- Puckett’s Grocery– The locally created chain is known for its soul food like barbecue and fried chicken, but they also serve breakfast until 11 am.
- Sweet CeCe’s– Indulge your sweet tooth at this Nashville yogurt shop with all the toppings. Get a discount on your visit.
Looking for something a little different? Nashville has tons to offer for all types of families and interests.
- Zipline Forest Admission at Fontanel in Nashville– Soar through the trees at this zipline park at the former home of musician Barbara Mandrell.
- Nashville’s Music City Sightseeing Tour– See the city’s most iconic attractions on a private tour on a golf cart, led by an expert local guide.
- Bicycle Rental on Nashville’s Greenway System– Hit the trails through this bike rental, navigating the city’s interconnected paths.
- SoundWaves– During the summer months, visit this water park at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. It has thrilling slides, relaxing pools, and cabanas.
- River Queen Voyages– Hit the Cumberland River through tours and rentals from this kayak and “pedal pub” outfitter.
There’s never a shortage of events going on in Nashville, no matter what time of year you visit!
- Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival– Celebrate the arrival of spring with this annual festival featuring Japanese culture. They even have face painting and bounce houses for the kids.
- Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4– Enjoy music, fireworks, and festivities on the river every Independence Day. Past headliners include Brad Paisley.
- Tennessee State Fair– The beloved event features everything your family could want from games and booths to barnyard animals and deep fried deliciousness.
- Holidays at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel– ICE! runs from November to January with hand-carved ice sculptures and slides inspired by the film.